– CANADA: That used to be a fancy outfit: a school leaver recently tinkered with a graduation dress from math exams, with a short cut and black stripe at the waist. According to a report by the Canadian broadcaster CBC, she wanted to raise money for the Malala Fund of the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai (17).
– INDONESIA: Wild Color Battle! In Indonesia, school leavers spray bright paint on their uniforms to show that they have passed their exams. In some cases, the euphoria has turned into vandalism. Letters were sometimes sent home to the students to keep people from spraying. Proms have also become more popular in Indonesia in recent years.
– INDIA: Even Indian students, who are otherwise used to standing in line and strict rules, get a little rebellious on the last day of school. They write something on each other’s school uniform. In addition to «You are my best friend» there are funny sayings on the sleeves and legs. Many of these memorabilia hang in the closet for years.
– FRANCE: The Abitur is celebrated all over France. According to a tradition that has only prevailed in some regions, future high school graduates take to the streets in colorful disguise 100 days before graduation to initiate the start of the exams and to celebrate their upcoming freedom. Often a battle with flour and eggs is opened and money is collected in exchange for sweets for the later graduation ceremony.
– TUNISIA: There high school graduates traditionally paint large canvases with motifs from current politics. Popular motif this year: the Islamic State terrorist militia. Because the exams fall at a time of regional conflicts and internal unrest in Tunisia. In the south, a campaign «Where’s the oil?» currently for excitement. Because it makes people believe that the country actually has great resources. President Beji Caid Essebsi referred to this recently when visiting high school graduates. «I’m looking for oil here,» he said to the students and emphasized: «Our oil, that’s you.»
– THE NETHERLANDS: When young people there find out that they have graduated from high school, they hang the Dutch flag out of the window and their school backpacks with it. Then the neighbors also know. According to media reports, the company that produces the flags even has to work extra shifts during these weeks.
– ITALY: On the last day of school there are the famous «gavettoni», water fights on the street in front of the school, almost everywhere. This not only applies to younger students who are leaving for the holidays, but also to school leavers. Everyone fires water bombs from bottles, balloons, plastic pistols. Every now and then, some people throw themselves into flour – so that it gets really nice and mushy.
– BULGARIA: In the poorest EU country Bulgaria, the Abitur is celebrated like a wedding.community essay sample With expensive bars, fancy evening wear and luxury cars. Many parents take out loans so that the «entry into life» becomes an unforgettable celebration for the children. The family celebrates in the afternoon. The high school graduate then picks up his «lady». The class gathers in a symbolic place – such as in front of the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the capital Sofia. Then there is dancing.
– POLAND: The Abitur is a pretty good thing there. For the exam, the students appear in suits or suits or dresses in muted colors – even if red underwear is traditionally hidden under the serious outfit as a lucky charm. There is a real celebration as soon as it goes to university: in May – sometimes June – there are the «Juwenalia» in Polish university cities, at which the students traditionally demand the key to the city from the mayor and have the say on streets and squares for three days.
– CZECH REPUBLIC: Things are dignified there after graduation. Formal suits for men and evening dresses for women are mandatory at the prom. The high school graduates receive their sash, a festive armband, in front of their proud parents. The program includes dancing with the former teachers. In the Czech Republic, almost 70 percent of a year graduate from high school. Those who want to study also have to pass strict university entrance tests.
– SLOVAKIA: So that the whole city knows who is going to graduate this year, each graduating class puts the photos of each individual student in decorative, mostly funny arrangements on small boards in the shop window. Even in winter there is the rather elegant high school graduation ball, the «Stuzkova». The name is derived from the «Stuzka», a ribbon-shaped badge that the students wear on their clothes from then on. In May they go through the streets in a boozy mood even before the exam. They let passers-by give them money that they spend on alcohol.
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The fatal blow against the student Tugce was preceded by evil rabble. What shocked some viewers in the Darmstadt trial is, according to an expert, not a new phenomenon. It’s part of youth cultures.
Insults among young people are not a new phenomenon, says the head of the archive of youth cultures in Berlin, Gabriele Rohmann. «This behavior of young people runs through the decades of the last century with different forms.» In the past, however, young people were more careful not to use disparaging words in the presence of adults. «There are already signs of brutality that have to do with social developments,» explains the social scientist.
18-year-old Sanel M. is charged with bodily harm resulting in death. He is accused of punching the 22-year-old student Tugce in the face in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Offenbach, Hesse, so hard that she fell, hit her head hard and later died.
Insults are not invented by young people, but they are learned from adults. Even elementary school students picked up swear words and used them without always knowing the meaning. «At some point they then notice that it has an effect and use them more specifically,» says Rohmann.
Young people of the age of Tugce and the defendant Sanel M. wanted to stop or offend others with mobbing against it. In conflict situations – as it probably happened in the Tugce case in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Offenbach – it is often a matter of showing strength and dominance with insults. According to the motto: «Who is the one who has more to say?»
Which swear word is used is related to socialization, habitus, knowledge and the cultural context. «Someone who perceives their mother to be very central, pure and untouchable (inviolable) is hit harder when someone says ‘son of a bitch’.» The music that many young people listen to is also full of swear words. «But this is also used in the youth movements,» emphasizes Rohmann. A term like «bitch» – translated from English, the bitch or slut – can be used disparagingly, but it can also stand for emancipated, strong women.
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Almost every eighth young person in Germany gets drunk at least once a month. And it’s no longer mainly the young guys who are into hard things.
But there is also good news: Regular binge drinking has dropped to a new low among Germany’s young people. Last year, 12.9 percent of young people got drunk, i.e. more than one in eight, according to a study by the Federal Center for Health Education. This is the lowest value since surveys began ten years earlier: In 2004, 22.6 percent of 12 to 17 year olds got drunk at least once a month.
While the proportion of boys between 12 and 17 years of age who regularly get drunk fell significantly to 14.6 percent last year, it rose slightly to 11.2 percent among girls. «We have to look carefully at certain groups of people, such as young women,» said the Federal Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortler. The bottom line is that young women drink less overall than men.
Among young adults up to 25 years of age, more than a third drink five or more glasses (35.4 percent) at least once a month; among young men alone it is 44 percent. According to the most recent survey in 2012, it was 52.9 percent of young men.
Mortler was satisfied that the regular alcohol consumption was declining overall. Nevertheless, alcohol remains the number one addictive substance. «That is why it is important to counter the trivialization of alcohol consumption.»
15.6 percent of young men and 4.3 percent of 12 to 17-year-old boys often drink themselves intoxicated (2012: 19.4 and 4.9 percent). It is 4.7 percent for young women and 2.9 percent for girls.
The average age of first alcohol consumption rose continuously over the past ten years from 14.1 to 14.8 years, that of first alcohol consumption from 15.5 to 16.2 years. 35.5 percent of young adults and 11.8 percent of adolescents use the bottle regularly.
Regular alcohol consumption has thus continuously declined since the 1970s, according to Mortler. 33 percent of 12 to 17 year olds have never drunk alcohol in their life.
Mortler and the head of the federal headquarters, Heidrun Thaiss, blamed education and prevention projects over the years for the decline. Volker Leienbach, Director of the Association of Private Health Insurance, which co-finances awareness-raising campaigns, pointed out that it is often young people who decide whether or not to embark on a «drinking career». In addition, the development is not yet complete at that age – and therefore drinking is particularly dangerous.
Per capita consumption has remained unchanged since 2007 at just under ten liters of pure alcohol. The global average is 6.2 liters. Depending on the estimate, there are between 80,000 and 120,000 alcohol deaths per year in Germany. In total, around 1.77 million adults are considered to be alcohol dependent.
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Adolescents’ discomfort runs like a red thread through everyday life: homework? Oops, forget. The sports bag? Oh, left in school. A lot of understanding, support and small organizational tricks help.
His bike was at the supermarket for almost two weeks. Mattes (13) had left it there while shopping – and forgot. «Afterwards I went home on foot, never even thinking about being there on my bike.» Things like that happen to the boy from Bremen all the time: «I don’t know what’s wrong with me either. Some things just fall out of my head.»
«That’s quite normal for this age,» says Michael Schulte-Markwort, Director of the Clinic for Child Psychiatry and Psychosomatics at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Major remodeling processes take place in the brain during puberty. A completely organized and structured way of thinking, as adults know it, is simply not yet possible: «The connections between the controlling and the emotional system in the brain are still very thin during puberty and do not fully develop until the age of 25. «
In addition, there is a changed sense of time, says Schulte-Markwort: «For days and weeks, young people don’t have the feeling that they are living in the moment.» Anyone who asks teenagers to tell something about the past week usually experiences a lot of brooding: «And then they start with experiences from yesterday because they don’t remember anything more.» Even the little word «same», which young people like to use when asked to do things, is very flexible in terms of time: «They really mean the same, even if it is three hours away.» Schulte-Markwort advises parents not to get upset about it, even if it is exhausting.
Dieter Scholz, coach and parenting adviser from Gundelfingen near Freiburg, also advises parents to be calm: «For the children themselves, forgetfulness is exhausting enough, the parents don’t have to put additional pressure on.» The puberty phase is generally characterized by so many demands and influences that it is only a logical consequence when things fall through the cracks.
The fact that a dentist’s appointment is due in the next week may then be saved, but not retrieved: «The children’s brain is busy with other, more important things,» says Elisabeth Raffauf, psychologist and author of the guide «Puberty Today» from Cologne